We have, and we've designed these to incorporate the best possible performance and highest quality materials while remaining very easy to maintain. There are some good Forges available today, but they all seemed to suffer the same problems which turn them into frustrating and expensive to maintain headaches. Don't get stuck with a headache, consider carefully before making your purchase. I would like you to look at what is out there, and compare what you find to what we have to offer. Look at everything, performance, ease of maintenance, cost... I think you'll be surprised at how we compare to what else is being offered out there!
So what do you need in a gas forge? What kind of work will you be doing? Architectural Ironwork, Metal Art/Sculpture, General Blacksmithing, Bladesmithing, Forge Welding..
The Economy models are great for the Hobbiest or "occasional" Blacksmith. These units are made with the same shell material and feature the same burners as our production models. They are a bit simpler to manufacture and we use Ceramic Fiber Blanket instead of the Board used in our standard models. This translates to cheaper production cost and passed savings onto you!
The Blacksmith models are Ideal for the Production Shop and general blacksmithing. With the open end ports, both sides can be loaded if you're drawing tapers for that large railing job, or 2 smiths can work at the same time, 1 at each end of the forge. With its large front door and opening, awkward pieces can be worked that just won't fit in other forges. With its hinged top and no nonsense design, relining is a simple task that takes only a few minutes and requires nothing more than a 5/16" wrench. The Floors are 3200 degree dense ceramic and hold up very well to the constant abrasion of your workpieces. Walls and Ceiling are Vacuum Formed Ceramic, rigid, durable and long lasting. The Burners interior bell surface is machined smooth for consistent airflow and the orifices are milled in a special fixture to ensure proper alignment.
The Metalsmith Forges are perfect for the Artist and Sculptor. The unrestricted design allows complete access to the firebox, but understand, the trade off for that kind of access is a decrease in efficiency, so this forge uses a little more fuel than the Blacksmith models. These incorporate the same features as the Blacksmith models, including the hinged tops which make these forges so hassle free. The open design with 3 doors is a unique feature that NO other manufacturer offers!
The Knifemaker/Welding Models are incredible. The heat output is amazing. These are the hottest, most efficient Forges in the line-up. There is alot of talk about using a round shell to get an even heat, and some manufacturers are doing that. Well, in order to get that even heat, the burner needs to enter the firebox with the flame running along the interior wall in order for the flame velocity to circulate the heat evenly. With this set-up, the firebox does heat relatively evenly, problem is, the second that a billet is put into one of these round forges, the circulation is interrupted, and it no longer heats evenly... So there's the problem, they heat very evenly, as long as they're left empty! It's just more hype, there's one manufacturer who runs his burners nearly straight up in his round forges, which completely negates the imaginary benefit of the round shape to begin with! Another question... I see alot of "Knifemaker" forges being sold for welding billets, and they all use Ceramic Fiber. Ceramic Fiber is great stuff, but not in a Forge Welding environment. Ceramic Fiber reacts to welding flux the same way Cotton candy reacts to water, it just melts away... So imagine the amount of time you'll spend repairing all that damage (the ITC 100 does little to slow that process down, and has a tendency to flake or peel off, creating maintanance issues of its own). Ask yourself this as well, how difficult is it to access the ceramic liner in one of those round forges? If you have to reach in through an opening that can be a real pain. Do you have to take the forge apart, or does it even come apart? Those issues are resolved with our Knifemaker Forges. The floor is flux resistant 3200 degree dense ceramic, the walls and ceilings are Vacuum Formed Insulating Ceramic. If it does get damaged, remove a few screws, lift the lid, lift out the ceiling insulation board and replace the wall board, yes, it really is that easy. These were designed from a working smiths perspective. Not only are they designed to perform, but they are designed to last! A good performing forge is nice, until you find out it's an expensive, all day job to reline, or worse yet, getting stuck with a ceramic fiber lined "welding" forge that you have to make repairs to every time you finish a billet... Like I said, look at all the factors, check out our competition, do your homework. We think if you do, you'll come back to us when it's time to buy that new forge!